Monday, October 20, 2008

Broder, Bush, and Katrina

Krugman resurrected this September 4, 2005 Broder column from the wastebasket of history, so I thought I'd just quote some of the good parts.
It took almost no time for President Bush to put his stamp on the national response to the tragedy that has befallen New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.
All too true - just not exactly in the way Broder meant.
We cannot yet calculate the political fallout from Hurricane Katrina and its devastating human and economic consequences, but one thing seems certain: It makes the previous signs of political weakness for Bush, measured in record-low job approval ratings, instantly irrelevant and opens new opportunities for him to regain his standing with the public.
Well, that would be the important part, wouldn't it? The "devastating human and economic consequences" of Katrina, for Broder, are only the backdrop for what it might do for Bush's approval ratings.

Of course, Broder was just a wee bit off about that, too.
The challenges posed by this natural disaster are in some ways even more difficult than those of the terrorist attack, with anger and frustration now being expressed about the response of governments at all levels. But for a president who believes that actions speak louder than words, this is an advantageous setting.
'Nuff said.


Sir Charles said...

An honorable man just would have shot himself for having written that.

Jesus -- Wrongy McWrongstein, Dean of Washington pundits.

low-tech cyclist said...

One of these days, I'll have to troll the archives and come up with a David Broder's Greatest Hits collection.

This one definitely belongs, along with the one from early 2007 where Broder says the Dem sweep of 2006 is just setting up Bush's comeback.

And from the moldy-oldies collection, the one from the summer of 1974 where Broder almost drools at the prospect of a backlash to what he anticipates will be the failure of the Dems' impeachment effort.

I think it was Atrios who uncovered that particular gem. It isn't just that he hasn't aged well - he's always been terribly overrated. It's just that, as long as he and his fellow insiders monopolized the public discussion, there was nobody in a position to point it out.

MR Bill said...

I keep thinking that, despite the bad economy, Bush has been great for one area: Washington DC. The War on Terra and the Dept. of Homeland Security have meant a great growth there.
It's Broder's Town, of course. I'm sure the cocktail parties got a lot better after 9/11..

KELSO'S NUTS said...


I consider myself sort of a dabbler in Broder and Cillizza scholarship. Good to know there's a PAST-MASTER out there!

low-tech cyclist said...

Kelso - I won't claim to be a master, but this blog is a better outlet for my disgust with Broder and his ilk than throwing the newspaper across the room and scaring the cats!